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We Must Make The Wise Choice For Our Grandchildren

 We in Staunton have a choice to make.  It is up to us.  Shall we choose solar energy ? Twenty one years ago, I was adopted into the Shenandoah family, Wolf Clan, Oneida Nation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (People of the Long House).   White people call them Iroquois. We are taught to listen to our elders, learn to respect and act responsibly. Oren Lyons, 93, Wolf Clan, is an Onondaga Chief, and world leader of peace who teaches —  The Earth is our Mother.  She gives everything we need for life.  Imagine a living pine tree clinging to a cliff; getting all it needs for life from the earth.  We are like that pine tree.  Our Mother Earth provides, but time is running out.  We have little time to make changes in order to survive.  The economy of nations will be broken by natural disasters.  We see more disasters every year:  hurricanes, snow melt, coastlines washing into the seas, wild fires, drought, flooding, on and on.  The haze today brings this reality to Staunton, VA. We must fol
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Ben Cline, Represent Us !

 To Congressman Ben Cline and staff, The US government is a democracy (citizens govern themselves), and we live in a representative democracy where we elect representatives to vote for us.   WHEN THIS DOES NOT WORK ?  It does not work when the Republican Party and your Republican representatives support voter suppression, anti-health measures for women specific medical problems, the NRA and guns. Per MSNBC News on Thursday May 18, 2023 “SEVENTEEN (17) MASS SHOOTINGS in SEVEN (7) DAYS! "Most of these shootings are white male from rural Republican areas.” "NINETY PERCENT  of US citizens are for common sense gun laws." It appears to me that NINETY percent of US CITIZENS POLLED are being ignored and squeezed out of democracy and representation on GUN ISSUES alone !  I am one of those voting citizens. Having YOUNG SCHOOL CHILDREN doing active shooter drills as a part of school curriculum is NOT FREEDOM.  I have elementary and high school grandchildren, so this is personal fo

“Thoughts and prayers”, again.

 Dear Congressman Ben Cline, There have been 130 mass shootings in 2023 in three months !!!!!!!!! “Thoughts and prayers” in the standard political refrain after mass shootings, followed by arguments that nothing more can be done. One republican suggested home schooling as the answer to the problem.  REALLY ?????? Retired Rear Admiral Barry C. Black, Chaplain of the US Senate, espoused his personal view during the  delivery of an opening prayer recently, “When babies die at a church school, it is time for us to move beyond thoughts and prayers.” This highly spiritual leader is making a plea for legislative ACTION after the deadly shooting took place in Nashville, Tennessee. I am also making this plea with many other people with dead children from mass shootings. The damage in Tennessee was the deaths of children and school personnel.  What we don't immediately see is the collateral damage of families and communities that last for many years Picture January 6th with assault rifles. 

The Transparent Lie behind the "Election Integrity Unit" and a FOIA Request

Dear Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares, YOU, as a newly elected Attorney General, with the approval of  Governor Youngkin, established the ELECTION INTEGRITY UNIT as a part of your office.  This appeared to have been high on your to do list, occurring after multiple investigations showed “NO SIGNIFICANT EVIDENCE OF FRAUD IN THAT ELECTION” the election that elected Youngkin as Governor and you, Miyares as Attorney General. The title "Election Integrity Unit" strongly SUGGESTS fraud in the election and it would be cleaned up by the newly elected officials. THE BIG POINT: IT WAS A FAIR AND FREE ELECTION,  and I repeat with "no evidence of significant fraud.” The election results WERE ACCEPTED by Republicans, Independents, and Democrats. There were no big lies, and there was no Jan. 6th type of behavior. I wrote a first letter to you on questioning the formation of The ELECTION INTEGRITY UNIT. My second letter is to support “The Virginia Chapter of NAACP request FOIA r

Democracy and Ben Cline: Regarding his January 5, 2020 Statement

We seem to disagree on almost everything. But this is actually not the case; there is much on which we agree, and that agreement is key to electing representatives who actually serve  our  interests. We agree on the importance of preserving democracy, even as we disagree on the nature of the threats to democracy. We also agree on the essential elements of our democracy. Two of them are the rule of law and the separation of power. Our Congressional representative, Ben Cline, has shown his willingness to subvert both. Consider his Jan 5, 2020 statement objecting to Congressional acceptance of state certified election returns: “…rules and procedures established by the state Legislatures were deliberately changed by a number of individuals, including governors, secretaries of state, elections officials, judges, and private parties. These changes are in direct violation of Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 of the Constitution. That usurpation of the Legislatures' constitutional authority

Public Schools and Student Gender Identity: Parental Notification

At the October 15th Building Bridges forum, Staunton City School Board candidates were in broad agreement on every issue except one: whether Staunton City Schools should fully comply with Governor Youngkin’s order that schools notify parents when students request a formal change in their gender identity. Two candidates, Lisa Hatter and John T. Wilson, advocated full compliance; one candidate, Kristin Siegel, said that notification should be at the student’s discretion; one candidate, Fontella Brown-Bundy called for more discussion (perhaps around specific cases?). After considering this issue, one thing is clear to me:  A parent’s best chance of becoming aware of and supporting a student who wishes to change their gender identity is to ensure that the schools, and especially their counselors, enjoy that student’s trust. In the age of the internet and youth culture, does any parent believe that they can shield their child from exposure to changing gender norms? And does anyone believe t

Youngkin's Lack of Respect for Victims

To: The Honorable Glenn Youngkin, Governor of Virginia Dear Sir: Political violence increases in the US because of the “big lie” and conspiracy theories. It continues to spread and even promoted because elective’s officials have lack the courage to condemn this behavior in a serious way.  Yesterday, the free press reported THE LATEST SHOCK IN US HISTORY! A medical emergency was created after a violent political attack was committed on a private citizen in his home.   A 42 year old assailant with a hammer crushed  the skull of Paul Pelosi and left severe injuries to his right hand and arm.  Today, the traumatized family will have a clearer picture of recovery time and permanent outcome of sustained injuries. CNN reports that the “alleged attacker posted multiple conspiracy theories”. It has also been reported that the man was looking for Nancy using the Jan. 6 Capitol chant, “Where is Nancy”? I expected to witness a reasonable response of respect and empathy for the Congressional, leade